Prepared for the |
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
To contact the Presidents Conference:
Syria Conducts Missile Tests - Yuval Azoulay (Ha'aretz)
Man Linked to Toronto Terror Cell Convicted in Britain - Colin Freeze (Globe and Mail-Canada)
Israel Using New Non-Lethal Crowd Dispersal Measure (AFP)
For Uganda's Orphans,
Israelis Provide a Shining Light - Jonathan Pulik (JTA)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
A day after Iran declared that it had test fired a new rocket capable of launching a satellite, the country said Monday that it was prepared to help other Muslim countries send up satellites. However, military officials in Washington have concluded that Sunday's Iranian missile launching was a failure. The first stage of the missile performed successfully, but the second stage flew off wildly, destroying the top of the missile and its nose cone. (New York Times)
The organizers of two boats carrying protesters campaigning against Israel's economic sanctions on Gaza have been warned that any attempt to approach Gaza coastal waters would be interpreted as assistance to a terrorist regime. Israel has offered help in delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza via land borders instead. "From my point of view this is some kind of pirate ship," said Shlomo Dror, a defense ministry spokesman. "You can demonstrate, that's OK with us. But you are not allowed to break international law."
Gaza has been subject to economic sanctions since Hamas violently wrested control there in June 2007. Hamas has refused to recognize Israel and renounce violence. Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel retained military control of Gaza's territorial waters. (Telegraph-UK)
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit the Middle East next week in another attempt to achieve progress towards an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, officials said on Monday. "She is coming on the 25th and 26th of August for a series of trilateral and bilateral meetings," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. An Israeli Foreign Ministry official confirmed the dates. (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
A total of 75 new immigrants arrived in Israel last week from Georgia, with most of them settling in Bat Yam and Ashdod. According to the Jewish Agency, some 120 additional Georgians are preparing to immigrate in the coming months. (Ynet News)
A memorial ceremony was held Monday in Beijing to honor the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered in a Palestinian terror attack at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The ceremony was organized by the Israeli Embassy and the Israel Olympic Committee. A significant number of foreign delegates, military attaches and Olympic officials were in attendance.
On September 4, 1972, 10 Israeli athletes and a coach were taken hostage by Black September, a Palestinian terrorist group with ties to Fatah. On September 6, after West German police botched the rescue attempt, the group killed all of the hostages. Memorial ceremonies have been held at every Olympics since the 2000 Games in Sydney, organized by Israeli authorities. (Ha'aretz)
It's hard to find one Palestinian who regards Israel's decision to release some 200 Palestinian prisoners as a "goodwill gesture." It's also hard to see how the release of the prisoners would "boost" the popularity of Mahmoud Abbas. The argument that the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails strengthens the "moderates" has never proven to be correct. The best way to strengthen the "moderates" is by putting pressure on them to reform the PA and end financial corruption and lawlessness in the West Bank.
Shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israel freed hundreds of Fatah security prisoners, many of whom soon became involved in various criminal activities ranging from armed robbery and extortion to theft and arms trafficking. They also became a financial burden to the PA, which had to put the local "heroes" on its payroll and pay them salaries, although many of them did no work. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
Dr. Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at the Institute for Policy and Strategy of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, is an expert on Iran and Islam, with over 30 years experience working with Israel's intelligence community. According to Bar, forget everything you know about reason and logic when it comes to Iran. There is a little man in Tehran who talks to "the hidden Imam" - a mystical messianic-like figure. "It's not only, or necessarily Ahmadinejad who speaks to the Imam," Bar says. "There's a whole new second generation elite of the Revolutionary Guard who indoctrinate their troops with the belief in the need to hasten the advent of the Imam. This has also spread to Hizbullah in Lebanon."
Ahmadinejad "is not Hitler," Bar insists. "He represents a larger elite and wider trend. Hence he is more dangerous, since even if he were to disappear through elections or other means, the trend he represents would remain strong. This is in contrast to Hitler who, had he disappeared even as late as 1939, there is great doubt that World War II would have occurred." "The need for the Imam's loyalists to have the strategic upper hand is a necessary condition for his appearance. The upper hand can only be achieved through possession of nuclear weapons." (History News Network)
The resignation of Pakistani President Musharraf on Monday has reignited concerns among some security analysts who say the prospect of an Islamist revolution in Pakistan - the world's sole nuclear-armed Muslim state - keeps them up at night. Dr. Ely Karmon, an expert on Islamist movements and their drive to obtain weapons of mass destruction, says radical Pakistani Islamists have set themselves the goal of gaining access to Pakistan's estimated 80 to 90 nuclear bombs, an arsenal they call "the Islamic bomb." "Pakistan does not control parts of its territory. There are tribes allied to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and very significant Islamist movements consisting of hundreds of thousands of members," Karmon said. "These are no less extreme than al-Qaeda itself." Furthermore, the Pakistani army "has been infiltrated by Islamists," he said. (Jerusalem Post)
Brigitte Gabriel is a Lebanese-Christian immigrant who spent her girlhood amid the bloody devastation of the Lebanese civil war.
Q: Are you concerned that your new book, They Must Be Stopped, will feed animosity toward Muslims?
Gabriel: I do not think I am feeding animosity. I am bringing an issue to light. I disapprove of any religion that calls for the killing of other people.
Q: Why don't you write about the moderate Muslims?
Gabriel: The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant. I grew up in the Paris of the Middle East, and because we refused to read the writing on the wall, we lost our country to Hizbullah and the radicals who are now controlling it.
Q: You write about the Muslim presence in America and bemoan the rise of Islamic day schools and jihad summer camps. Is there really such a thing?
Gabriel: Yes. Instead of taking lessons on swimming and gymnastics, the kids are listening to speakers give lectures titled "Preparation for Death" and "The Life in the Grave."
Q: You also lament the public foot baths that have been installed at the University of Michigan and elsewhere to accommodate Muslim students.
Gabriel: I lived in the Middle East for the first 24 years of my life. Never once did I see any foot-washing basins in airports or public buildings. So why are they pushing them down the throats of Americans? (New York Times)
Israel's Grand Strategy - Barry Rubin (Jerusalem Post)
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